Cover Crops

Conventional agriculture is susceptible to problems of soil erosion, reduced organic matter, and nutrient runoff, that affect not only that year’s yield but following years as well. Mining the soil for critical topsoil and nutrients year after year impacts a farms production value for decades into the future. Cover crops were used historically up until […]

STRIPS – Mixing Native Vegetation and Corn

Conventional agriculture in Iowa is extremely productive but lacks habitat for pollinators. Pollinators are generally viewed as unimportant within the agricultural landscape but can increase yields. Iowa State University researchers keyed in on prairie strips as a unique conservation practices to provide pollinator habitat, nesting bird habitat, and increase water and nutrient retention on-field. Researchers […]

Contour Waterways

Water takes the path of least resistance, which in row-crop fields means the loss of soils from fields. Soil erosion is costly and was most recently estimated to cost farmers in Iowa 1 billion dollars annually. Erosion occurs on steep slopes where water is allowed to gain momentum unchecked as it travels downhill. Grassed waterways […]

Management Intensive Grazing

Cattle once grazed the entire Whiterock Valley and continue to be an important part of the working landscape at Whiterock Conservancy. Most acres that could be converted to improved pasture were seeded to smooth brome grass by the 1970s and grazed by the Garst Company cattle operations until 2003. The valley was rotationally grazed for […]

Grazing Research Projects

Can grazing and conservation land management be mutually beneficial?

Yes, grazing and land management can be employed to create successful land use management plans that incorporate both conservation and grazing goals.

What was done and why?

Grazing cattle on reconstructed prairies is a solution proposed by land managers and grazers in Iowa to the […]